Argentines voted on Sunday in a primary election that will be a foretaste ahead of the general election in October. How eager are the citizens to change? In a country with one of the worst inflation rates in the world.
The primaries will decide who will be the presidential candidate in the main center-right opposition coalition in which Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta faces former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich.
Who is almost certain to run against Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who faces a left-wing challenger to become the governing coalition’s candidate. Center-left President Alberto Fernandez has decided not to run for re-election because he suffers from low approval ratings amid annual inflation in the United States more than 100%And increasing poverty and a Rapid currency depreciation.
The preliminary stage will also finally give a firm answer about the amount of starter traction Right-wing populist candidate Javier Milli acquired with the voters. A fan of former US President Donald Trump, Millie attracted voters with her anti-establishment message and resonated with young people in particular.
There were delays in voting at some polling sites in the capital amid difficulties using new electronic voting machines to select candidates for mayor and other local offices. A judge responsible for the electoral process criticized what she described as a “degree of improvisation” and said that the voting time could be extended.
Long lines meant some people had to wait up to two hours to cast their ballots, forcing some polling stations in Buenos Aires to remain open past the official closing time of 6pm local time (9pm GMT). The authorities said that all those in line would be able to cast their ballots.
Preliminary results are expected to start appearing about three hours after polling stations close, although delays at polling sites could push this later.
In the run-up to Sunday’s election, the campaign has been largely dominated by the sometimes bitter rivalry between Bullrich and Larita. Pollsters say the winner of this race will have a strong chance of becoming president amid public anger at the government over the country’s economic malaise.
Asked what the preliminary discussions could mean for the coalition, Larrieta assured reporters that there would be unity after Sunday’s vote. Always together, said Larita. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow, always together.”
Former President Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), a leader in the main opposition coalition, called on Argentines to cast their ballots on Sunday to “leave an era that has brought us so much hurt and grief.”
The primaries are taking place amid hidden concern about how the vote will affect the economy. Four years ago, the unexpectedly strong performance of incumbent President Fernandez sent a sharp drop in the currency’s value as markets saw initial results indicating that the business-friendly Macri was on his way out.
After casting his vote on Sunday, Massa told reporters that the Economy Ministry is working on the issue.
“On Friday, from noon to afternoon, and yesterday, back at the Ministry of Economy, we worked with the team so that the week and the markets would not, in some way, affect people’s daily lives,” Massa said.
Once results start to come in, particular attention will be paid to signs that the main center-right opposition may win the presidential election outright and avoid a second runoff in November.
After casting his vote, Fernandez made it clear that he expected the presidential race would not end quickly.
“We have begun an election process that will likely end in November,” said Fernandez, who was largely absent from the campaign. His vice president, Cristina Fernandez, who was the country’s president from 2007 to 2015, has also not appeared on the campaign trail so far.
The economy has largely dominated the debates leading up to Sunday’s election, but crime suddenly took center stage in the final days of the campaign after an 11-year-old girl was killed during a kidnapping robbery in a Buenos Aires suburb. Wednesday. There was also outrage in Buenos Aires after the death of a left-wing political activist who suffered a heart attack while in police custody. during a protest on Thursday.
Many in Buenos Aires expressed their anger at the politicians and said they had little faith that things would change.
“Whoever does, things will stay the same,” said Jennifer Marin, a retail worker.
Political leaders pushed citizens to cast ballots amid concerns that turnout might be lower than usual amid a lack of enthusiasm. Although voting is compulsory, the fine for not casting a vote is largely symbolic. The most recent national elections saw a turnout of around 70%.
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